Another Life – Chapter 32

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 33

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Another Life – Chapter 31

 

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Another Life – Chapter 30

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 31

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The Beach House – Chapter 21 – Conclusion

“It went too far. She thought I was going to fire her.” I was pleading my case to deaf ears.

“Ahh, Monica, I’m so sorry it came to this. ” Mia wrapped Monica in her arms. Monica was still in shock, and I don’t think she even recognized Mia.

“I was about to tell her when you walked in…” I didn’t want Mia upset with me on our wedding day.

“Well you should have told her sooner.” She started rubbing Monica’s back. “You probably had her in tears all day.” She sat Monica on a nearby chair and looked back at the smiling Wally. “Wally, grab some water and a towel or something.” He left, chuckling. Monica’s mouth was still standing open. “Well, tell her, Dale. I won’t have any tears at our wedding.” Monica’s mouth opened wider. Mia’s hands were on her hips, waiting for me to comply. I softened my voice as I dropped to one knee in front of Monica.

“You remember Mia Perez, Monica.” I smiled trying to make sure she understood I had no ill will. “We kind of hit it off during the detox.” I grabbed one of Mia’s hands off her hip. “We’re getting married today, and I needed you here as a witness.” Monica mouth was still wide open, looking between Mia face and mine. I gently took hold of Monica’s hand. “Are you alright?” I heard Bob re-enter the chapel.

“You’ve known her for a week.” Monica looked back to me. “You don’t like anybody.” I laughed and patted her hand.

“I assure you, I love this woman more than life itself” I smiled at Mia who dropped her other hand off her hip and smiled back.

“I didn’t even know you could smile.” Monica was still in shock. Bob exchanged the water and towel for Mia’s bouquet. Mia sat down next to Monica.

“Your mascara is a bit askew.” Mia dipped the end of the towel in the water and began wiping the worst of it off her face.

“Making me take care of Mia was the best thing you could done for me.” I stood back up. “I needed her as much as she needed me.”

“I never met the Dale you know.” Mia kept cleaning Monica’s face as she talked. “I fell in love with a very tender man with a strange SpaghettiOs fixation.” Monica laughed at that. Leave it to Mia to move us past the tears. Wally leaned down near Monica.

“These two share a very compatible type of insanity.” He chuckled again.

“You see, Monica, I have no intention of firing you. You are my second favorite woman on this whole planet.” I smiled at her, figuring that should settle it. I saw tears welling up in her eyes. She jumped up and wrapped her arms around me and started bawling. I looked at Mia for help, and she was crying too. I looked at Wally.

“I knew this would be an insane wedding.” Wally started chuckling again. I was beginning to think he was a bit on the insane side.

Once the girls had fixed their makeup, the wedding went off without a hitch. Mia surprised me with a little poetic vow about me pulling her from a pit of darkness into “my heart full of light.” I had to think fast, and I could see in her eyes that this was payback for a handful of paint.

“Mia, before you entered my life, I thought love was only a word for poets.” I smiled into her eyes. “I now know poets are just souls who ache for what I have through you. You are my ocean, my waves. You are my SpaghettiOs.” I heard a whimper from Monica and I saw the water in Mia’s eyes. Wally was holding back another chuckle.

Mia and I took our witnesses out to dinner after the wedding to celebrate. We spent the entire dinner laughing and telling Monica all that had happened over the last week. We were into our fourth bottle wine when Mia decided to give her gift to Monica.

“Dale told me why you made him take care of me.” Mia was glowing. “I felt bad that my thoughtless husband would do such a thing.” I interrupted.

“Hey, I didn’t know you then!” Mia smacked me lightly in the shoulder.

“A tenth anniversary only comes around once. It deserves to be recognized.” Mia looked at me like I might forget some future event. “We wanted to buy you a second honeymoon to make amends.” Mia smiled handing an envelope over to Monica.

Monica opened the envelope with wide eyes. “Oh my God!” she said as she looked at the three-week cruise to the islands and South America.

“And everything is planned.” Mia was all jumpy. “I wanted to make sure you didn’t have to think about a thing, just like when you take care of Dale.” Mia was really proud of herself. “Dale cleared the time with Charlie’s boss, and I’ll make sure Dale doesn’t try and call during the trip.” Monica started tearing up again.

“Oh my gosh, guys! This is amazing!” Monica was wiping the tears from her eyes. Mia hugged her and started crying too. You would have thought we were poking them with burning sticks.

I was excited, because I saw the dessert tray heading our way. I slipped the pastry chef a hundred to make something special for me. The waiter went around, delivering the desert, leaving Wally for last. I was getting antsy. The waiter smiled at me and reached under the tray and pulled out a small top-hat-shaped cake. It was perfect. He placed it in front of Wally, who for once looked very confused.

“I don’t think this is what I ordered.” He looked up at the waiter who just smiled and nodded at me.

“I quote: ‘If you two are friends at the end if this I’ll eat my hat.’ ” My timing was perfect. Mia burst out laughing which infected all of us. To his credit, Wally ate the entire thing. I think he liked being the center of attention even if it was a joke at his expense.

Over coffee, Monica was whispering to Mia. Monica reached into her purse and removed what looked like an old envelope that had seen better days. Monica looked at me. “I made a promise a few years back that earlier today, I thought I would have to break.” Her eyes were getting watery. “I think I was planning to throw this at you Dale.” She was indicating the envelope, half smiling and half crying. Women were becoming confusing again. “Now, I get to keep that promise.” She handed the envelope to Mia, then wiped some tears from her eyes.

Mia seemed a little confused herself. The envelope didn’t have any markings and seemed to contain more than just paper. She broke the seal and looked inside, and I saw her eyes tear up. I tried to see what was inside as she pulled out a single folded piece of paper. Mia opened it and began to cry which was echoed by Monica. They hugged each other.

I reached over and looked into the envelope. My eyes began to water as I looked at my Grandma’s butterfly brooch. Mia handed me the letter and hugged me as I read:

To whomever has found my Dale’s heart,

Please take care of it. It is very precious to me.

Love Eleanor.

 

THE END

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 20

We better shower and pack.” Mia offered up the plan. I agreed and helped her to her feet. I closed up the paint and grabbed the brushes to wash them out. We only got about half the edging done on one wall. Naked painting isn’t productive at all. I smiled as I put both brushes in one hand and palmed the wet bristles with the other. “I’ll meet you in the shower,” she said, not really looking at me. I moved in close for quick kiss, and when our lips met, I grabbed her boob with my paint covered hand.

“You’re right, we always go for the breasts.” I smiled as I headed to the utility sink. Mia now had a lavender hand print that covered the majority of her boob.

“This is not over by a long shot Mister,” I heard as I proudly headed down the hall trying not to drip. I have been pretty happy with the punishment so far. Getting tortured with sex can be so cruel.

Monica’s itinerary was flawless as usual. We were in Vegas by 9 am and in our rooms by 10. I hustled Mia and Bob out to one of the fancy dress shops in the hotel before they could accidently run into Monica. The store had my card and instructions to make Mia beautiful. Bob was going to roam the strip and pick up Mia just before 3 and meet me in the chapel. I went back up to room. I just had to keep a straight face for a few more hours.

At exactly noon, there was a knock at my door. I tried my best to pull my mind away from my new happiness. I needed to hide everything for a bit longer. I rose from the chair on the second set of knocks and opened the door. It was, of course, Monica.

“Hello, Mr. Tomlinson. I just got in from the airport.” She seemed a bit flustered. She tried to nonchalantly look past me. I think she got wind that I did not fly up alone. I opened the door wider and stood aside. Monica walked in without instructions. I walked to the small sitting area and took a seat. She followed and took the other.

“I will admit that operating without you is fairly difficult Monica.” I was sounding stern. I was bit proud of my acting.

“I want to apologize for my actions, Sir. I was a bit overwrought at the time.” She was trying to find out how much damage she had caused. I am sure she feared a drop in her living standard. “I had no right to demand anything of you. You have never failed to reward me for my services.” I smiled inside. She was thinking I might be trying to replace her. I held up the palm of my hand.

“No. That woman saved my life. I owed her one of her own. I see that now.” I had to look away from Monica. I was afraid I would start laughing. “I’m not sure I appreciate your methods, but the results are as they should be.”

“Mr. Tomlinson, I fear I might have damaged our relationship.” She was sounding like business, but her eyes looked like pleading. “I never really thought it would go this far.” She was sweating on the inside.

“I do believe our relationship has changed Monica.” I paused for a moment. “Only time will tell by how much.” I had to look away again. I had forgotten how to look aloof.

“I regret that it has, Sir. Prior to this incident, I have never failed to work in your best interests.” She was really beginning to sweat. I was almost ready to cave, but I just didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

“As Bob ceaselessly reminded me when I was setting up this deal.” There, I kept my promise to Bob. “I am, however, concerned where his loyalty really lies.” Monica’s head dropped to the floor. I had to end this soon before she suffered too much.

“It’s to you, Sir.” Monica’s emotions were getting a bit too involved in her voice. “I got wind of your actions, and Bob ignored my queries. I’m sorry again, Mr. Tomlinson, I felt a little left out of it all.” Whoa, she was starting to take it personally. I had to end this. I stood up.

“Meet me downstairs at the front desk at 2:45.” I started walking toward the door. Monica realized she was being dismissed and followed. “We will discuss this again after the meeting.” I opened the door and she walked out. I closed the door and sighed. I may have taken it a bit far. I glanced through the peephole, and she was just standing there with her hand over her eyes. Yes, maybe a bit too far…

At 2:40 I was downstairs, dressed in my finest suit. It was actually my only suit. I had to wait exactly five minutes for Monica. She looked dressed for business, but I noticed her eyes were a bit red. Shit, I let it get a bit far. As soon as she walked up to me I turned and headed to the chapel. I figured if I walked faster, time might jump ahead with me. We turned down a couple of halls and passed a sign that said “Chapels” with an arrow pointing in the direction we were headed. Monica did a double-take but followed along.

We entered a lounge with a few doors to different chapels. I entered the chapel I had reserved, and Monica followed more slowly. “I don’t understand, Mr. Tomlinson. The meeting is in the Wedding Chapel?” Leading her on like this was frustrating. I snapped accidentally.

“Just wait here, Monica!” I indicated a chair by the door. I saw her eyes begin to water as she sat slowly in the chair. Time needed to speed up a bit faster. I walked to the front of the chapel and spoke quietly with the man who would perform the service. A moment later I heard Monica behind me. It was the first time I had ever heard her distraught in my life.

“If you’re going to fire me, you could have done it over the phone.” I turned to face her and was shocked to see mascara following tears down her face. I felt her pain in my chest.

“Monica, I’m not going—” My words caught in my throat. Mia walked, in and she was simply stunning. I didn’t think a woman could look so good. Her long hair was pulled back and to the right by a rich red ribbon. Two red roses were over her left ear highlighting the lacy white dress that flowed over her curves. The dress was bound by a red belt that tied in a bow on the left. She was holding a small bouquet of red roses. “Beautiful,” I said by instinct as I stared at my future wife. Mia smiled and the whole image glowed brighter.

Monica heard my word, saw my smile and followed my eyes. Mia’s expression changed immediately. “Dale!” She started hurrying forward to Monica. “What did you do to her?” Monica’s mouth was wide open; mascara was all over her cheeks. She kept looking back and forth between Mia and myself.

 

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